In powerful and moving testimony about the grim results of Donald Trump’s bid to nullify the 2020 election, a mother and daughter who worked on the Georgia election described how Trump and his allies turned their lives upside down, fueling the harassment and racist threats claiming they were involved in election fraud.
Testifying before the January 6 committee in Washington, Shaye Moss said he received “a lot of threats. Wishing death on me. Telling me I’ll be in jail with my mom and saying things like, “Be glad it’s 2020 and not 1920.”
It was a reference to lynching, the violent extrajudicial fate of thousands of black men in the American South.
Moss also said her grandmother’s home was threatened by Trump supporters seeking “citizen arrests” of the two poll workers.
No Democratic presidential candidate had won Georgia since 1992 but Joe Biden beat Trump by just under 12,000 votes, a result confirmed by recounts.
Tuesday’s hearing detailed Trump’s attempts to overturn that result by pressuring Republican state officials and smearing Moss and his mother over a video showing them allegedly engaging in voter fraud, a statement quickly debunked.
Moss’ mother attended the hearing. In recorded testimony, she said: ‘My name is Ruby Freeman. I’ve always believed it when God said he’ll make your name great. But that’s not how it was supposed to be. »
“Throughout my professional life, I have been Lady Ruby. My community in Georgia, where I was born and lived all my life, knew me as Lady Ruby. I built my own business around that name: Ruby’s Unique Treasures. A pop-up shop for women with unique fashions.
“I wore a shirt that proudly proclaimed I was and I am Lady Ruby. I had this shirt in every color. I wore this shirt on election day 2020. I haven’t worn it since and I I will never wear it again.
“I won’t even introduce myself by name anymore. I get nervous when I see someone I know at the grocery store saying my name. I worry about the people listening. I get nervous when I have to give my name for food orders. I am always concerned about who is around me.
“I lost my name and I lost my reputation. I lost my sense of security, all because a group of people starting with [Trump] and his ally Rudy Giuliani decided to scapegoat me and my daughter Shaye, to push their own lies about how the presidential election was stolen.
Freeman also said, “There’s nowhere I feel safe. Nowhere. Do you know what it’s like to be targeted by the President of the United States?
“The President of the United States is supposed to represent every American. Don’t target one. And he targeted me, Lady Ruby, a small business owner, a mother, a proud American citizen who stood up to help Fulton County hold an election amid the pandemic.
Freeman said she was forced out of her home for two months.
Moss described threats also made to her grandmother.
“This woman is everything to me,” she said. “I’ve never even heard or seen her cry, in all my life. And she called me screaming at the top of her voice, like, “Shaye, Shaye, oh my God, Shaye,” freaking me out, saying people were at her house.
“And they knocked on the door and of course she opened it, seeing who was there, who it was, and they just started pushing through, claiming they were coming to make a citizen’s arrest. They needed to find me and my mother, they knew we were there.
“And [my grandmother] was screaming and didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t there so I felt so helpless and so horrible for her. And she just screamed and I called her to close the door. Do not open the door to anyone. »
Moss was asked how his own life has been affected.
She says: “My life has been turned upside down. I no longer give out my business card. I don’t want anyone to know my name. I don’t want to go anywhere with my mom because she might be screaming my name in the grocery aisle or something. I no longer go to the grocery store.
“I haven’t been anywhere. I gained about 60 lbs. I don’t want to go anywhere, I question everything I do. It affected my life in a major way, in every way.
“All because of lies.”